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George Chalich

March 23, 1930 - January 15, 2017

George Chalich, age 86, died Jan. 15, 2017 in Spokane Valley, Washington. He was born March 23, 1930 in Butte, Mont. to Eli Chalich and Martha Haidin Chalich (later Mandic). The family moved to the Spokane Valley in 1938 and he attended Vera Grade School and Central Valley High School. George competed in football, basketball, track and baseball. He was a first-team all-league pick in basketball as a sophomore, junior and senior, and led the league in scoring twice, breaking the league scoring record his senior year with a 13.7 points-per-game average. After graduating in 1948, he went on to play college basketball at both the University of Washington and Gonzaga University. He was a walk-on player for the Husky baseball team and was offered a professional contract with the Seattle Rainiers but chose to finish his degree. He taught and coached for 28 years at Oakesdale, Mead and North Central High Schools, proudly stating, I taught life as he positively impacted many students and families. He also officiated both baseball and basketball at the collegiate level including the Pac-8, and throughout the Inland Northwest at the high school and childrens recreational levels for 40 years. He played AAU basketball and softball with the Spokane Diesel team. He loved golf and was a member of the Indian River Golf team. In 1995 he was recognized by the Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters with the 25-Year Award. He was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, president of the Serbian Lodge of Spokane, and on the Board of Directors for Fairmont Memorial Association. George was preceded in death by his parents, brother Eli and brother-in-law Clem Rueckert. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Geraldine (Jeri), daughter Linda Chalich of Pullman, granddaughter Alison (Jonathan) Metzger-Jones and great grandson Jason Metzger-Jones of Davis, Calif., sisters Sadie Rueckert and Dorothy Burns, brothers Nick (Lois), Ray, and Stan (Leslie) and numerous nieces and nephews who he dearly loved. A Celebration of Life open house will be May 7, from 2-4 p.m. at The CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. Memorials may be donated to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1703 N. Washington, Spokane, WA 99205.

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